Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Severn Valley Railway part two

I didn't feel well enough to post last night.  Small has a cold, and muggins here has caught it.  A hot bath and bed beckoned.  Now to continue with our trip on the Severn Valley Railway.

 "Gordon" the engine I mentioned in my last post apparently had his nameplate stolen and offered for sale.  Luckily, the thief was apprehended.

Some of the exhibits at the Engine House

Among the exhibits at the Engine House is a mail carriage, or travelling post office.  In days of old - actually not that long ago - the post was dispatched from all over the UK by train.  To save time, much of it was sorted while on board the train.  Once it got to its destination station, it was much simpler for the local post office to sort it according to the postman's individual routes.  Perhaps that explains why today's post is so darned late.

Apparently this particular carriage was part of the train involved in "The Great Train Robbery" of 1963.

The carriage has been set up to be interactive for children, and they can practice not only sorting the post, but their reading at the same time.  We found it quite amusing that all the places in one of the sections were from Yorkshire.  Apparently the guy who'd set it up and made all the envelopes and packets came from there.  Small was delighted to see names on the mail that he recognised.

We stayed and played a while then went up to the Flag & Whistle Food Stop for lunch, which was very pleasant and not bad value at all.  Small had spotted a play area outside and wanted to stay longer, but I thought we'd better catch the train onward to Kidderminster.

One of the old metal station advertisements

An old DMU

The Station Master's office

Our train, arriving at Highley

Another DMU at Bewdley station, which to Small's delight bore the destination legend "Doncaster".

Elephants and baby at the West Midlands Safari Park.

The booking hall at Kidderminster Severn Valley Station - not to be confused with Kidderminster station itself, which is across the car park.

Inside the station complex
We went off to look at the Kidderminster railway museum.  While this contained some interesting railway memorabilia and old telephony, it wasn't enough to keep us entertained for very long.     With the wonderful benefit of hindsight, it would have served us better to have stayed longer at Highley, giving us only a 15-20 minute stop at Kidderminster.  You live and learn.

We caught the 4pm departure from Kidderminster, which was supposed to arrive at Bridgnorth around an hour later.  Unfortunately there was some sort of problem with the brakes on the train which meant the journey took nearly two hours!  We were absolutely freezing by the time we got back as whatever was wrong with the braking system seemed to have had an effect on the heating as well.

All in all though, we had a thoroughly enjoyable day out and would highly recommend a trip on the Severn Valley Railway.

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